AirAsia has signed a new joint venture with CAE, the flight training services company, to form an aviation training centre that intends to provide services for airlines across the region. The centre, to be named the Asian Aviation Academy, is the first project for the newly-formed JV company, Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence Sdn Bhd. It is intended to provide AirAsia and other airlines with training services for pilots, flight attendants, engineers, ramp handlers, guest services staff and management. Pilot training programmes at the centre will be available from 1 July and non-pilot training programmes will commence on 1 October 2011. The training centre will be located at what is now the AirAsia Academy, a short distance from the low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang, Malaysia.
Dr Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia, said; “The Asian Aviation Academy reflects AirAsia’s commitment towards developing the aviation industry in Asia. The new centre will offer world-class training, using the most modern modules and the latest training facilities that are on par with and far more cost effective than training in Europe or in the US. Our goal is to make the centre a prominent ‘aviation university’ and to make it the largest training centre in Asia.
“The centre will be independently managed and shall support the growth of commercial aviation in Asia in line with our thrust of boosting travel, trade and tourism. By training personnel from other airlines, it will allow us to convert our training program into a profit generator, in line with our aim to boost revenue via ancillary channels, which in turn helps to offset rising fuel prices and keep our fares low,” he added.
The training centre will start operations with six CAE-built full-flight simulators currently located at the AirAsia Academy. These include four full-flight simulators for the Airbus A320, one for the A330/A340 and one for the Boeing 737.
All AirAsia staff requiring specialised aviation training will train at the Asian Aviation Academy once it is open. Personnel from other airlines currently training at the AirAsia Academy will also move to the new centre.
“The joint venture allows AirAsia to create separate listable units and to keep its focus on offering low fares so that everyone can fly. The Asian Aviation Academy will allow AirAsia’s pilots to receive world-class training under the management of CAE, a world-renowned flight training company, in Sepang,” Fernandes said.
Meanwhile, Jeff Roberts, CAE Group President, Civil Simulation Products Training and Services, added; “AirAsia and CAE have enjoyed a very productive partnership, and now is the time to take it to a new level to help meet increasing demand for well-trained aviation professionals. We are very proud to train pilots and flight operations and ground crew of AirAsia and other airlines around the region. Our entire focus is providing the highest-quality training for safety and operational efficiency.”